MONEY ANGLES by Andrew Tobias


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An investor in Tobias' new issue will find a diversified portfolio, indeed. There are generous dollops of the patented Tobias straight thinking, a peek at the author's toy shelf (silly things like a talking Teddy Bear and wonderful things like a headline-printing machine), an extensive, though slightly dated, interview (with Federal Reserve Pooh-Bah Paul Volker, ""the second most powerful man in America""), and a selective glossary. (Diversification: ""Eggs, baskets. . . you know."" Stock Dividends: what management hopes you'll be too stupid to realize is worthless.) Tobias (Getting By on $100,000 a Year, The Only Investment Guide. . .) first tries to convince us that great wealth is just about synonymous with misery. He very nearly does; but to avoid having an awfully short book, he proceeds to tell us how to go about attaining the unhappiness of our choice. The basics are reviewed. Buy low, sell high. Never invest in anything that eats or needs repairing. Never underestimate the power of compound interest. What should you do with inside information or a two-for-one reverse warrant hedge? Nothing, unless you don't need the book in the first place. When should you borrow? Not often. If savvy counts for anything in the stock market, then you're up against some tough competition. If smarts don't count, then simply pick stocks using the proverbial dart board (another of the author's toys) or, better, invest through mutual funds. Above all, remember that a stockbroker is a salesman, not a pal. The material on taxes, we are told, will be updated by publication date to take the latest changes into account. That will probably mean cutting, because the 1984 law closed several loopholes. There's also a reading list, leading with Mackay's classic Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. However, as Tobias tells us, ""it's tough to get rich reading books."" The present text won't do it either--and it's not quite up to prior Tobias entries because it lacks real focus. But a reader just may emerge from this potpourri a bit wiser and a lot more calm about the local financial weather.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 1984
Publisher: Linden/Simon & Schuster